Radio image of the active galaxy M87 in Virgo

Radio image of the active galaxy M87 in Virgo

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Credit: NRAO/AUI/NSF/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Restrictions: This image may not be used to state or imply the endorsement by NRAO, AUI or NSF of any company or product

Caption: M87 and its jet. Radio image (6cm) of M87 galaxy (NGC 4486) found in the constellation of Virgo some 50 million light years away from the Earth. The jet appears as a bright stream flowing out of the galaxy's nucleus (bright spot at centre) towards the top right corner of the frame. The jet is formed by charged particles such as protons and electrons which are accelerated away from the galactic nucleus at nearly the speed of light. A faint radio-lobe is also seen at lower centre left. Current models suggest that a black hole of about 2.6 billion solar masses lies at the core of M87 and powers the jet. The image was taken by the Very Large Array (VLA) radio telescope. This picture may not be used to state or imply the endorsement by NRAO, AUI or NSF of any company or product.

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Keywords: active galaxy, astronomy, black hole, cosmology, galactic, galaxy, jet, m87, m87 galaxy, ngc 4486, radio, science, vla imagery

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